Emphasis – an emphatic intensifier par excellence McEnery & Xiao 2004 Solidarity/group membership – swearing occurs more among friends Daly et al 2004 Stapleton 2003 Insults/offense – different people judge swearing to be more or less offensive Jay & Janschewitz 2008
Amateur rugby team in New Zealand Data collected over one year Ethnography Match-days and training sessions Swearing noticeable as high frequency Swearing is unmarked
Context Recorded Words Swearword Count Normalised Frequency (per 1000 words) match training
High frequency swearing Masculinity Youth In-group membership Rugby stereotype
Frontstage and backstage Main speakers Player-dominated Coach-dominated Mixed Function MatchTraining team meetingtraining huddle pre-match huddletraining drill frontstage during match de-brief half-time huddle performance feedback post-match huddleleaders backstage player backstage
Tommo:it might not happen in the first scrum it might not happen in the- in the scrum in the sixtieth minute but by the end of the game I want to make sure and I want see from you guys that we dominate their tight five I want us to be aggressive entering the collision zone so when we're going int- into breakdowns when we're carrying or going into a tackle I want to see us aggressive up front and I want to see that all day I want it controlled but I want it aggressive out of the aggression it means that we go forward [...] it's us going forward all day and it's got to happen up front okay? Jon:forwards we're in these cunts' faces all fucking day we dominate these cunts [...] but we're fucking into them alright? I want to see cunts fucking get bent over backwards eh? first scrum I want to hear fucking ribs getting broken alright? [...] tackles we fucking nail these cunts alright? no fucking mercy hardcore and we're fucking ruthless are we up for it boys?
Tommo – Half-time first ten minutes when we stuck to our patterns we scored two good tries and then we just dropped our level dropped to these guys’ level for coming in from the side.. stupid fucking cheap shots get that shit out of the game there’s no fucking place for it here.. ok? Jon – Half-time we’ve got the tools it’s just us alright boys fucking heads up boys heads up this in our grasp eh? ten eight- er twenty eight’s nothing fucking nothing Parky – Half-time let’s do our own bloody jobs first forget about the talk.. do our jobs and then work.. the second thing is WORK your arse off off the ball okay? Criticism Advice/Directive Encouragement
Parky Ata Parky Ata Parky Ata sometimes you don't always get it a hundred percent right mate cos it all depends on the camera footage as well yeah yeah yeah and you'll see that like in the [team name 2].. I think um Dodds took over in the second half yeah and fucking some parts of it after doing it I felt seasick you know ? [laughs] just cos the camera's moving around it's like.. hold it still man [laughter]
Used to motivate Used to signal group membership Used to engender solidarity Used to criticise A local practice used as a leadership tool
Daly, Nicola, Janet Holmes, Jonathan Newton and Maria Stubbe Expletives as solidarity signals in FTAs on the factory floor. Journal of Pragmatics 36: 945– 964. Jay, Timothy and Kristin Janschewitz The pragmatics of swearing. Journal of Politeness Research. Language, Behaviour, Culture 4: 267–288. McEnery, Anthony and Zhonghua Xiao Swearing in Modern British English: The case of fuck in the BNC. Language and Literature 13: 235–268. Stapleton, Karyn Gender and swearing: A community practice. Women and Language 26: 22–34.